Japanese high school speech contest

Japanese high school speech contest

Thoughtful, fluent presentations by two secondary school students made judging of the recent Konnichiwa Speech contest at CPIT a difficult task.

Jonathon Mingard from Lincoln High School and Yoon Joo Lee from Burnside High School shared first place in the competition, which is supported by the Canterbury Network Japanese teachers and the Christchurch Consular Office of Japan to encourage excellence in spoken Japanese.

CPIT's ongoing support

CPIT Bachelor of Japanese programme leader Yoshihiko Holmes said CPIT had supported the Konnichiwa competition for the last 20 years because proficiency in spoken Japanese was essential for those students who want to use their language abilities to visit Japan, or to work and study there. 

Jonathon Mingard and Yoon Joo lee

“Our Bachelor of Japanese language programme is distinguished by a practical focus on spoken Japanese, as well as developing writing and reading ability. Many of our students go to Japan to work or for further study after graduating,” he said. 

“Understanding Japanese language is good, but to be able to speak the language with locals and to experience the culture at that level is really invaluable both for personal development and for professional expertise.” 

Other graduates teaching Japanese

Other graduates of the programme now teach Japanese in local schools including Nicky Coventry at St Margaret’s College and Nicola McCormick at Villa Maria, a former speech contest winner. Some 30 schools in Canterbury offer Japanese at NCEA level while nine presenters competed for the 2012 Konnichiwa title. 

The winners were presented with a trophy by Japanese Consul Minoru Kikuchi following the competition on 25 October.